Tuesday, January 29, 2013


This Morning drove over the hill to Atascadero to check out the birds at Atascadero Lake and the Sewer Facility.  Weather was cold, breezy, and as you can see by the photo, the clouds were fabulous.  Walked around the lake. Coots and Mallards were abundant.  Found interesting hybred Mallards.  There were two that had Mallard heads and totally white bodies (rather bizarre); another pair had mallard bodies and white head with a tuft at the top. (must be something in the water)
Around the lake are numerous Valley Oaks that supply the Acorn Woodpecker with acorns that the woodpeckers cram into the nooks and crannies of the tree's thick bark.  I could hear the Woodpeckers, but they were at a distance.  Yellow-rumped Warblers were busy and had a few sightings of the perky little Oak Titmouse.
The Sewer facility is located near the Salinas River bed.  In the past I had seen Wood Ducks in the filtration pond but today only one Mallard was present.  Nearby is the trailhead to a 5 mile segment  of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.  The trail goes from Sonora Mexico to San Francisco.  It is a narrow dirt path, much used by horses which may have had something to do with cutting the walk short plus large rain drops that had begun to fall.  Checking out the oaks as I trudged back to the car, I spotted a Great Horned Owl.  Wow, he/she was a beauty.  I was a happy camper.

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